A Spicy Perspective

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls Recipe

The Best West Virginia Pepperoni Pizza Rolls – This classic southern recipe includes flavorful slices of pepperoni and gooey mozzarella cheese, baked together inside a fluffy roll made with homemade pizza dough.

platter of homemade pepperoni rolls freshly baked

Classic West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls

You know those simple foods that instantly bring you back to childhood? One bite and BOOM, you are looking at little you chowing down on your favorites like PB&J, ice cream cones, chicken nuggets… And, for me, pepperoni rolls.

Growing up, my grandmother lived in West Virginia, so every summer we would drive across the country to visit her. Pepperoni Rolls are a big deal in West Virginia, in fact, they are the official state food! Eating warm, fluffy, and cheesy pepperoni-stuffed rolls is one of the many memories I associate with my granny. Seriously, they were served at every local bakery and diner in her small town.

What makes these snacks so memorable is how simple yet amazingly satisfying they are. Soft homemade bread or pizza dough is rolled out and filled with slices of spicy, savory pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. They’re brushed with butter and baked – similar to a stuffed crust pizza but portable.

Plus these classic pepperoni rolls are perfect to make ahead and freeze. Just quickly reheat and enjoy as a snack, appetizer, or lunch anytime!

sliced pepperoni roll showing inner pepperoni and cheese

Ingredients You Need

Our version of pepperoni rolls doesn’t deviate from the traditional snack. They are made with a classic pizza dough recipe, plus just a few additional key ingredients.

It should be noted that some West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls are made with pepperoni sticks inside. However, I like this method, made with easy-to-find pepperoni slices, that swirl through the center.

To make classic Pepperoni Rolls you need:

  • Dry active yeastto get that perfect fluffy pizza-like texture
  • Warm waterwarm enough to activate the yeast but not hot
  • Granulated sugaressential to make a flavorful dough
  • All-purpose flourrecommended as the best flour for soft homemade dough
  • Eggsadds richness and helps the dough rise
  • Saltjust a pinch
  • Pepperonisliced
  • Mozzarella cheeseshredded
  • Garlic powderto give the pepperoni rolls that Italian-inspired taste
  • Melted butterto brush the tops
hand holding half of a pizza roll with cheese and meat

How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

The first step towards the most amazingly thick, chewy and cheesy, warm, delicious pepperoni rolls is to make the pizza dough.

  1. Set out an electric mixer with a bread hook. Add the yeast, lukewarm water, and sugar to the bowl. Allow the yeast to bloom (foam) for 10 minutes while you gather the remaining ingredients.
  2. Then turn the mixer on and add in the flour, eggs, and salt. Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough for 5 minutes.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size. About 2 hours.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead the dough into a log shape and cut into 20 equal pieces.

When you’re ready to get rolling (see what I did there?), set out three baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Then sprinkle the dough pieces with garlic powder. One at a time, press and stretch each piece into a 6-inch circle.

circles of dough stretched out on flour

How to Make Pepperoni Rolls

Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese over each circle.

adding shredded mozzarella cheese to the dough

Next, arrange 6 slices of pepperoni over one side of the dough.

pepperoni slices on shredded cheese topped pizza dough

Stretch and roll the pepperoni side first, toward the other side. See the photo below for reference.

rolling the dough around the meat slices and shredded cheese

When you get close to the edge, tuck the ends under to seal in the cheese. Set the rolls on the baking sheet with the seam side down.

Get the Complete (Printable) West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

rolled pepperoni inside dough on a floured surface

Once all the pepperoni rolls are filled and tucked, spray several sheets of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover the rolls. Allow them to rise for another 30 minutes.

Just before baking, gently brush melted butter over the top of each pepperoni roll.

brushing melted butter over the proofed dough

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly browned.

overhead top view of baked pepperoni rolls on a baking sheet with parchment paper

Serve the West Virginia-style Pepperoni Rolls warm, either by themselves or with sauces for dipping.

side view of sliced open pepperoni roll on a baking sheet with whole loaves

Pepperoni Roll Recipe Tips and Variations

  • This recipe makes 20 rolls. To cut the pizza dough into even portions, I usually cut it into 5 equal pieces, then cut each chunk into 4 equal pieces.
  • When rolling up the pepperoni rolls, try to keep the dough inside the roll thin, while leaving the exterior dough a little thicker. This is so the middle with the filling is able to cook as evenly as the non-filled ends.
  • If you are making these rolls during the colder months, proof the dough in the warmest place possible in your house (usually the room that gets the most sunlight). You also can put the dough in the oven with the light on – not the actual oven turned on – as this will help create a slightly warmer environment.
  • Not into pepperoni? You can leave it out and add more mozzarella, swap with thin pieces of cooked and sliced chicken breasts, cooked bacon, proscuitto – or just about any ingredient you prefer. Just be sure that whatever you stuff into your rolls is not moisture-heavy (i.e. avoid mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, or other veggies/fruits that release juices when cooked) or you’ll wind up with a big soggy mess.
  • Feel free to halve or double the recipe to make as many rolls as you like! They are great to make in advance and freeze for later. Keep reading for tips on how to freeze and reheat.
platter of homemade pizza pocket rolls stuffed with pepperoni and cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this pepperoni roll recipe with readymade pizza dough?

Definitely! If you are short on time you can use 2 pounds of frozen (thawed) bread or pizza dough instead.

What dipping sauces go well with pepperoni rolls?

Serve warm rolls with a side of zesty marinara sauce or ranch dressing (if you’re a true southerner) to dip.

How long do these keep?

Homemade pizza dough rolls with pepperoni will keep well in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Let them cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and store.

How do you freeze and reheat homemade pepperoni rolls?

These rolls make fabulous freezer snacks! You can freeze before baking, then thaw and bake as directed, or freeze after baking and reheat later. The rolls need to be room temperature, then stored in an airtight plastic zipper bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow the pepperoni rolls to thaw in the fridge overnight: Then bake according to the full pepperoni roll recipe if you froze the dough unbaked. For already baked rolls, simply bake in the oven, microwave, or toaster until warm.

close up view of inside of pepperoni roll held by a hand

Looking for More Retro Snack Recipes?

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls Recipe

Prep Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
This classic West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls recipe includes flavorful slices of pepperoni and gooey mozzarella cheese, baked inside soft homemade pizza dough. They are a delicious snack perfect to dip in your favorites sauces, and great to freeze for later!
Servings: 20 rolls

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out an electric mixer with a bread hook. Add the yeast, lukewarm water, and sugar to the bowl. Allow the yeast to bloom (foam) for 10 minutes.
  • Then turn the mixer on and add in the flour, eggs, and salt. Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough for 5 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size. About 2 hours.
  • Dump the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead the dough into a log shape and cut into 20 equal pieces. (I usually cut it into 5 equal pieces, then cut each chunk into 4 equal pieces.)
  • Set out 3 baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle the dough pieces with garlic powder. One at a time, press and stretch each piece into a 6 inch circle. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoon mozzarella cheese over the circle. Arrange 6 slices of pepperoni over one side of the dough.
  • Stretch and roll the pepperoni side first, toward the other side. Try to keep the dough inside the roll thin, while leaving the exterior dough a little thicker. When you get close to the edge, tuck the ends under to seal in the cheese. Set the rolls on the baking sheet with the seam side down.
  • Once all the pepperoni rolls are filled and tucked, spray several sheets of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover the rolls. Allow them to rise another 30 minutes.
  • Gently brush melted butter over the top of each pepperoni roll. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Serve warm.

Video

Notes

Don’t have time to make the dough? You can use 2 pounds of frozen (thawed) bread dough instead! 
These rolls make fabulous freezer snacks. You can freeze before baking, then thaw and bake, or freeze after baking and reheat later. The rolls need to be room temperature, then stored in an airtight plastic zip bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow the pepperoni rolls to thaw in the fridge overnight: Then bake according to the full pepperoni roll recipe if you froze the dough unbaked. Or, for already baked rolls, simply bake in the oven, microwave, or toaster until warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll, Calories: 285kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 509mg, Potassium: 89mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 331IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 126mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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